Yesterday was Day 1 of MIX10 in Las Vegas and a lot of really cool things were announced – specifically around developing for Windows Phone 7 Series. You’ll find the gist of the Day 1 news from MIX10 here on the MIX10 website. Today is proving to be an equally exciting day as yesterday with Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer, taking the stage for Day 2 Keynote to show off what we’re doing with Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is the next version of our Internet Explorer web browser. Steven Sinofsky first gave an early look at IE9 last year at PDC09. But today at MIX10, Dean is officially going beyond the “early look” phase by diving deeper into the specific investments we’re making to the platform behind IE9 and delivering code in the form of a Platform Preview. To be specific, we are highlighting 3 key investments we’re making in IE9 today.

Performance, specifically with JavaScript: We are announcing a new JavaScript engine for IE9 which is designed to make Internet Explorer faster. This new JavaScript engine for IE9 places us faster than the shipping version of Firefox today on Webkit.org’s SunSpider benchmark test.

Standards and Interoperability: We are committed to the ideal of having the same markup (tags, script, and language) work across all the different browsers. This makes it easy for developers to develop their websites. With this commitment, HTML5 is at the center of IE9, and IE9 will include extensive support for DOM, CSS3, SVG standards and XHTML.

GPU-powered HTML5: We believe that HTML5 applications will take advantage of the latest in PC advancements to offer a truly graphically rich and functional experience that customers and developers want them (and expect them) to be. IE9 is the first browser designed to take advantage of modern hardware by shifting from the CPU to the GPU for hardware-accelerated SVG, enhanced JavaScript performance, and GPU-powered HTML5. By moving IE9 to the GPU and taking advantage of the latest Direct2D technology in Windows, webpages will load faster, graphics will be improved and users can take advantage of the modern hardware in their Windows PCs while taking fewer resources from their PC.

With these key investments for IE9, this translates into a great opportunity for developers to build rich websites.

For more from Dean, he’s posted a blog post about his MIX10 Keynote over on the IEBlog. I definitely suggest checking it out. You can also watch the keynote on demand here.

In talking about the platform behind IE9, we wanted to give developers a way to try out the investment we’ve done to-date with IE9. Today we’re announcing the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview. The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview is simply a preview of the platform subsystems code that is “under the hood” of the browser. This Platform Preview is designed specifically for developers so that they can get an early sense of some of the changes in the browser including capabilities, performance, and standards support (investments I mention above).

 

The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview includes the IE9 Test Drive website that presents a series of tests that allow developers to test the functionality of the investments we’re making with HTML5, Java Script, etc. To ensure we’re keeping developers actively engaged and aware of our continued work in key investments in IE9, we’re also announcing today that we’re making a commitment to deliver updates to this build approximately every 8 weeks leading up to the beta of Internet Explorer 9.

One thing I need to be clear about – the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview is not a full-fledged web browser to be used for everyday browsing of the Internet (it doesn’t even have a “back” button). It is designed specifically to run side-by-side to your regular browser and is simply a preview of the platform investments we’re making in IE9 designed for developers to learn how to take advantage of these investments in their websites. For everyday browsing of the Internet, I highly recommend continuing to use Internet Explorer 8. If you’re not necessarily a developer (like me) but want to get an idea on what we’re going to be doing with IE9 and the direction we’re going, I certainly recommend giving the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview a test drive and try out some of the tests we’ve included. In particular, seeing how it performs on new hardware is pretty exciting.

We’re very excited today to be able to talk more about the work we’re doing in Internet Explorer 9. As we move toward the beta for IE9, you can expect to see more posts from me on IE9 moving forward.


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